By Leroy Douresseaux
September 5, 2011 - 14:34
|Bleach Volume 36 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.
Rated “T” for “Teen”
A “Hollow,” a malevolent lost soul, attacked his family. This introduced Ichigo “Strawberry” Kurosaki to the world of the Soul Reapers, and since he was born with the ability to see ghosts, Ichigo became a Reaper. Now, he protects the innocent and cleanses malevolent lost souls, helping them find peace.
Ichigo and his companions entered Hueco Mundo, the world of the Arrancars (the Reapers’ enemies). They were on a mission to rescue their friend and compatriot, Orihime Inoue, but they were losing until four Soul Reaper captains came to their rescue.
Bleach, Vol. 36 (entitled Turn Back the Pendulum) puts the main story on hold. The narrative goes back in time to just over one hundred years ago, as the events behind renegade Soul Reaper and traitor, Lord Sôsuke Aizen, are revealed. The story focuses on Aizen, newly minted Twelfth Company Captain Kisuke Urahara, and Fifth Company Captain Shinji Hirako. Soul Reapers are missing, but the truth behind their disappearances is even more horrifying.
THE LOWDOWN: Practically every volume of Bleach features the same thing with some variations for character drama and even some comedy. Furious battles, the unleashing of powers that are elemental and like forces of nature, and page-busting battles are hallmarks of this fantastic manga.
However, this volume begins a storyline in which creator Tite Kubo takes us back to the roots of the conflict at the heart of this series. Intrigue, mystery, politics, and the creeping sense of dread that one would expect of a horror story all shape “Turn Back the Pendulum.” It is a superb change of pace for an already superb manga.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Those who want battle manga will want Bleach.